Leg Roundup: AS Positions In Flux After Legislative Council Meeting

On-Campus Representative Guadalupe Ibarra and Off-Campus Representative Shervin Shaikh review amendments to proposed bills while former Off-Campus Representative Marlene Moreno's chair lies empty. Moreno resigned suddenly from the Legislative Council at the Oct. 5 meeting.

Tim Fucci
AS Beat Reporter

The Associated Students Legislative Council convened for their weekly meeting on the evening of October 5 and partook in a spirited discussion concerning the recent events surrounding the resignation of Judicial Council Chair Jeanne Sabin.

Associated Students Executive Director Marisela Marquez addressed the council over principles and procedures in connection to the vacant judicial chair; however an issued grievance prevented Marquez and members of the council to address the matter directly.

“In terms of the staff members involved there has been a grievance brought forward, so I can’t speak specifically about it,” Marquez said in her weekly report. “But I can tell you the principle.”

Marquez explained that the standard throughout AS is that students who work as “decision makers” should not work simultaneously as a paid member under another AS entity. Sabin, who was appointed to the judicial chair by AS President Harrison Weber, has worked as the AS minute-taker for legislative council causing, in Marquez’s view, a conflict of interest.

“The principle is this,” said Marquez. “If students or full-time employees are going to be in a position and are going to influence students who are decision makers, what we do all across the association is try to make those independent of one another to make sure there isn’t any pressure on the individual. Students who are employed are at the discretion of their staff and supervisor. So we make sure that important decisions are not influenced by an employee.”

Members of the council raised concern over whether Marquez, the executive director of AS, holds the power to influence an appointment made by the AS President.

Marquez responded by claiming that she has never overruled an appointment by the president.

“What I’m really recommending is everyone sits down with me, HR or the Ombuds,” said Marquez after her report. “Sometimes a third party mediates a conversation.”

AS has two weeks to fill the vacant chair.

In other legislative council news, Off-Campus Representative Marlene Moreno requested to resign from her position on the council.

“I’ve come to the decision that my health and well being is the most important in my life,” said Moreno. “I truly apologize for my sudden resignation. I believe it’s the best possible decision for me. I’m going to miss you all. Take care of yourself and make sure you are eating and sleeping and resting. It can get busy and tough, so take some time to laugh.”

The council also approved 8 pieces of legislation on Wednesday evening.

The most notable approved include a bill to restructure the Committee on Committee, authored by Off-Campus Rep. Jonathan Abboud. The bill will add new sub-committees to Comm-on-Comm and will clarify the language written into the legislation.

The council also approved a resolution to endorse Prop 1481, an oil extraction fee that, if passed by California voters, would bring an upwards of $3 billion dollars for public education in the state. The passage of the resolution marks UCSB as the first UC student government to officially endorse the initiative.